travel blogging

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Yesterday marked eight years of blogging in this little space, which has been a vehicle for meeting some of the best people I know. Blogging has opened up travel opportunities for me, and the networking and contact-building I have done through blogging also helped me to create my Social Media/PR/Marketing business, which has been my full time gig for two years this week!

One of the most fun parts of blogging is looking back on life in blog posts. Here are eight of my favorite life moments, in no particular order, to celebrate eight years. Thank you for reading!

Learning to bake with whole grains at King Arthur Flour

This group getaway was so much fun! We stayed in a country bed and breakfast with the whole house to ourselves, and had our own baking class at King Arthur. It was definitely a bonding experience where I made some life-long friends.

King Arthur Flour

 

Winter on Martha’s Vineyard – A true getaway at Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The winter of 2017 included some heartbreakingly stressful moments for America, and when we needed to get away from it all before we lost our minds, Martha’s Vineyard was the perfect choice. Nobnocket was cozy and luxurious and steps from Vineyard Haven’s cute little downtown. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

 

Safari Serengeti

Our two week safari in Tanzania was a trip of a lifetime, and I would do it over and over again if I could. Africa works its way into your heart and just stays there forever.

giraffe in the Serengeti 

 

This incredible Labor Day weekend in Sonoma County

Over the last eight years we have visited Sonoma and Napa many times. (Read all the posts on my travel blog post page!). This trip stands out because of the gorgeous little cottage we rented near Healdsburg, the glorious summer heat, canoeing on the Russian River, and the fact that I didn’t work for four whole days!

Russian River Valley sunset

 

Wine tasting in Italy

While visiting family in Marche, we had a private wine tasting at Castello di Semivicoli, which was one of the best afternoons ever.

Masciarelli wine tasting 

 

Getting to go to Sonoma County for work

When I left my full time, in-house job, it was to work on an account in Sonoma County, and I got to experience some pretty spectacular tastings and events.

 

wine tasting

MacMurray Estate Vineyards

 

Spending the perfect summer day on the North Fork of Long Island

My North Fork memories are bittersweet, as the wonderful PR person, Florence, who introduced me to the region and brought me there on Cross Sound Ferry last June, passed away unexpectedly a few months later. Still, I remember this day as summer perfection, from shucking oysters, to wine on the bluff at Kontokosta, to lots of laughs in the van along the way.

lavender fields in Long Island

 

Every trip to Ireland

I tend to go on and on about Ireland, and I can’t help it. It’s definitely one of my most favorite places (along with Sonoma and coastal New England and Puerto Rico), and I feel incredibly blessed every time I get to visit.

Errisbeg

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Tags: blog, blogging, Boston, California, food blog, food blogging, Ireland, Martha's Vineyard, Sonoma, travel blog, travel blogging, wine, wine blogging

Visiting Asheville, North Carolina has been on my list for years, and despite the fact that I have an aunt and cousin living there, I didn’t make the journey until this past August when said cousin was getting married.

When planning any travel lately, I tend to look at house rentals even before checking out local hotels. I love hotels, but for any extended period of time, and especially with a group, I have found that renting a house is comfortable, fun, and usually a great savings. Once again I consulted Flipkey for houses that would fit seven of us so my little family could all stay together.

We’ve used Flipkey a few times before, starting with this amazing Sonoma wine country cottage (a portion of which was generously covered y Flipkey) and this last minute Ipswich rental last week.

Once again, a house rental turned out to be the perfect solution. Our two story, three bedroom house was immaculate and beautiful with some stunning mountain views. It was super clean, well-stocked with all of the basics we needed, and a minute from the grocery store. We were slightly outside of downtown Asheville and closer to the wedding venue, a decision we made purposely as we knew we would be visiting the venue the day before to help out as well as the day after.

asheville  flipkey rental

The house had two living rooms and plenty of space for the kids to run around. We generally had breakfast there in the mornings and then spread out at night watching the Olympics and enjoying being together but also the space we had if we needed some time apart!

Much of the rest of the time was spent at my aunt’s house near Biltmore Village.

cottage She lives in the most charming English garden style cottage, and it was love at first sight. She has great style and has collected so many beautiful things over the years, making for a lovely space that I didn’t want to leave. The grounds were equally as beautiful and made for lots of outdoor time playing with neighborhood dogs and looking for butterflies. My aunt’s neighbor grew the flowers for the wedding, and my aunt arranged them. The day before the wedding we loaded them in the car and drove them up to the wedding venue, Sherrill’s Inn at Hickory Nut Gap Farm.

wedding flowers Hickory Nut Gap Farm The wedding venue was one of the prettiest I have been to; it included a historic home, cold spring house, plenty of green space, and horses, who were wandering around just behind the reception for most of the evening. Magical.

horses in asheville

sherill's inn

The beauty of the Asheville area didn’t end there. The day after the wedding we made the drive up to Lake Lure, through winding mountain roads taking in stunning vistas and a hot, blue sky summer day. Lake Lure was stunning and felt so relaxed, definitely a place I would like to visit again to stay for a few days. We also JUST missed the Dirty Dancing Festival by a few days; maybe a return visit for that next year?

Lake Lure  Lake Lure

We rounded out our visit to Asheville with a family dinner at Luella’s for BBQ, plates piled high with yummy BBQ meats and sides, my favorite of any BBQ meal. All paired with local Asheville beer, of course!

Luella's BBQ Luella's BBQ

Speaking of Asheville beer, you can read all about our beer tasting adventures here.

Asheville was the perfect combination of gorgeous nature, great food, music, family, and perfect weather. It’s an easy two hour flight from Boston to Charlotte and a two hour drive after that, close enough for a three day weekend, though you’ll want to stay longer!

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Tags: Asheville, North Carolina, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

I camped in the Serengeti. If that was the only thing I could say about travel in 2015, that would be enough. This was, I believe, my most-traveled year of my life. From November 2014 until the end of December I made three trips to Ireland, about seven trips to NJ, two Sonoma trips, a Chicago trip, a Myrtle Beach and Charleston trip, and many New England weekend trips, including Mystic (twice), Newport, Portland, and Cape Cod. Phew. Can I do it all again?

Throughout the year, especially August – November where I flew about every two weeks, I swore I wanted a quiet, homey 2016, but here I am, once again wanderlusting. So much of the world to see and such a short life. I am grateful for each corner of it I have been blessed to see. Here are just a few highlights from my 2015 travels.  Since there are so many photos to share, I am going to break this up into two posts. . .enjoy!

Serengeti camping

 

Serengeti sunset

Serengeti sunrises and sunsets were pretty much life-changing.

 

Maramboi Tented Camp

Escaping a Boston winter to lounge poolside at a game camp wasn’t too bad either.

 African elephant

I will never forget the first elephants we saw in Tarangire National Park. Mind, blown. I’m getting a little teary-eyed just writing about it.  I fell in love with the Tanzanian landscape, the food, and the warm welcome of the people. And the kids. I absolutely loved and learned from these little ones.

Between November 2014 and November 2015, I got to visit Ireland three times, which made it feel even more like home. Over the course of the Ireland trips, we got to eat my favorite things and to spend lots of time outdoors.

Connemara

Ashford Castle

Seeing Ashford Castle from a boat on Lough Corrib was sensational. Ashford Castle and Cong are must-visits on any trip to the West of Ireland!

zipline adventure

Ziplining in Ireland was another step outside my comfort zone. Between camping and zipping, I feel like I was pretty brave in 2015! Ireland visits gave us a lot of family time, something I would like to be better about in 2015. I need to slow down and be present; travel and family make that happen.

Galway was Galway, and with the length and frequency of our trips, I got to spend a lot of time just being there, and I loved it.

sunset over the Claddagh, Galway Ireland

In addition to logging international miles, I also zigzagged across the country twice this year to visit Sonoma for work! In June I traveled to Sonoma County to meet a client and to plan for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend PR and Social Media. Combining work and one of my favorite places was, as you can imagine, pretty amazing.

Willi's Wine Bar

There was obviously a lot of food and wine but also learning and connecting.

wine tasting

I loved the wine at Ram’s Gate and Fog Crest and Cain and so many others. Getting to take not just one, but two trips to the high country at MacMurray Estate Vineyards, a journey reserved mostly for press and other VIPs, was one of the highlights of both trips.

MacMurray Estate Vineyards

MacMurray Estate Vineyards Soaking up the sun and discovering new Sonoma food and wine favorites with my husband after the work was done was the icing on the cake.

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Tags: Africa, Ireland, Serengeti, Sonoma, Travel, travel blog, travel blog posts, travel blogger, travel blogging, vacation

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